Looking back at Gregg Popovich's very first win
On Dec. 14, 1996, the San Antonio Spurs won their very first game with Gregg Popovich serving as head coach. Nearly two decades later, he's knocking on the door of 1,000 victories, still going strong, with five rings and a career unrivaled by just about everyone in his field.
But as Dan McCarney from the San Antonio Express-News recounts via this snippet from his newspaper's archive, things weren't so pleasant the night Pop notched his first win.
"There was an anti-Popovich mood apparent on the signs waved about, and he got a hearty boo blast when he was introduced before tipoff. This despite public-address announcer Stan Kelly’s deft tactic of trying to slip a low-voiced Popovich introduction in under the tremendous ovation for David Robinson. "Popovich got a couple more raucous vocal slams from fans awaiting his trek back to the lockerroom after the first half and his re-entry to the court after intermission."
A lot has changed since then. Few out there question Pop's decisions, and the entire league follows his lead as he sits at 999 career wins with a chance at 1,000 Monday against the Pacers. Can you imagine what the team would look like if its ownership wasn't patient back in 1996? Spurs fans definitely don't want to.
(h/t: San Antonio Express-News)